September 03, 2012
Concert Review: Kiss, Motley Crue bring impressive performance to First Niagara Pavilion

Excerpts from a review By Scott Mervis / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Paul Stanley actually came out and said it in a recent interview. Kiss will go on without him and co-founder Gene Simmons. Mr. Stanley explained that Kiss was not just a band, but an "ideal" that was bigger than any one of them.

It's a little ridiculous to think of them blowing fire and running around in giant heels at, what, 65? 70?

But for now, the Kiss frontmen are a sprightly 60 and 62, and tonight at the First Niagara Pavilion, they pulled off the same tricks they did in 1976, and more, with a truck full of pyro and some well-placed wires.

On this "Tour," Kiss has a band of relative youngsters barking at its heels. Motley Crue was the kickstart, and it's still a tough act to follow.

Kiss came down from a riser with all guns blazing on "Detroit Rock City" and "Shout it Out Loud." A few songs in, the band lit into "Firehouse," wherein Mr. Simmons gave the kids (of all ages) a cheap thrill with the fire-spitting trick.

The one downside to Kiss going out with co-headliners is that the main set is reduced to 13 songs, leaving some old "Kiss Alive" favorites on the shelf.

The band teased its forthcoming "Monster" album with the single "Hell or Hallelujah," which we can safely say doesn't point Kiss in any radically new direction. Tommy Thayer, who took over guitar and Spaceman duties from Ace Frehley, shot off some instrumental fireworks, literally and figuratively, on "Shock Me."

The high resolution video screens came in handy on the bass solo leading into "God of Thunder," giving us a monstrous close-up of Mr. Simmons spewing blood and flying around to the rafters on Kiss' most metal song. Mr. Stanley got to fly too, out over the audience to a smaller stage, on "Love Gun." Kiss signed off with drummer Eric Singer taking the vocal on "Black Diamond" and closed the concert and the Pavilion season with a celebratory "Rock and Roll All Nite."

As they say, a Kiss concert is like the circus coming to town, and it might just go on forever -- no holograms necessary. Lucky us, we get some of the original ringmasters.